Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Happy birthday to meee!!!

That's right, today is my birthday. Another year has passed and I am one year closer to as my nephew calls it, being a skeleton in a box in the ground. Gotta love 4 year olds for telling it like it is. So apparently after midnight last night my odometer automatically clicked over to 28 years old. I don't feel 28, and according to everyone who asks me for ID before selling me cigarettes I don't look 28 either. I actually had one woman last week tell me that hopefully by the time I'm reaching 40 I might finally look like I'm in my 20's. I don't mind being told that I look young or being asked for ID because I know that the people are looking past my appearance and realise that I'm young at heart. They choose to ignore the wrinkles I have been growing since my 25th birthday and tell me in so many words that I act like a teenager. (I'm not lying about the wrinkles either, I found my very first wrinkle on my 25th birthday. How's that for your body telling you it hates you?)

They say that with age comes wisdom, but I'm still not entirely convinced of this because in all my years, the wisest thing I have been able to come up with is don't try to do a three point turn next to your house otherwise you'll end up driving through your lounge room window. You'll also probably end up with five stitches in your arm after you slice it open on the jagged glass hanging from your window frame. (True story.) But no one can deny they love the spoiling and attention that comes with a birthday. So far I have received 2 bunches of flowers, 2 boxes of chocolates and 2 cases of cupcakes to help celebrate my birthday. A lot of my Facebook friends have obeyed the instructions on their news feeds and popped over to my wall to wish me a happy birthday, and I have one very happy little girl who has spent most of her morning jacked up on sugar. I actually caught her stealing a Tim Tam from my coffee table while I was out of the room. By the time I came back it was almost all gone and there was little point in doing anything but cleaning up the mess she left behind.

So now there is nothing left for me to do but sit back and enjoy the rest of my day. And eat my weight in cupcakes. I should probably leave this post with something deeply reflective and moving to commemorate the occasion, but instead I'll tell a joke...

Q: How can you tell that you're getting old? 
A: You go to an antique auction and three people bid on you 

That's it, I'm outta here, try the chicken and don't forget to tip your waitress!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Dear diary...

So I've decided to make my Sunday post a catch up of everything that has been happening during the week. That way I can keep doing my normal rants during the week and still keep my lovely readers posted about my beautiful daughter on one day per week. Also hopefully if I leave a week between each of these posts it might be enough time to gather up enough interesting stories to fill an entire post.

As I write this my mum and my little sister are having a disagreement about her 21st birthday party next April, and Miss K is playing with a stuffed Pumba doll on our coffee table. So that's all that's happened today so far. We actually had a few sleepovers at the house this week, my niece and nephew came over for the night on Thursday night, as both of them have this nasty cold that Miss K and I got the other week, and our house is warmer than theirs during the night, so mum thought it would be a good idea for them to give their lungs a rest during one of the coldest night we've had in a long time. This was a lot of fun, and because they were staying in the lounge, which is where we watch telly, they didn't get to sleep until after 10:00. My other little sister (the one not turning 21 next year) stayed over on Friday night as it was raining too heavily for me to drive her home after tea so she got stranded here till yesterday afternoon. My little brother also came down from Melbourne last weekend, which was odd because he'd already been down a fortnight before, but we got to spend a day with him and his partner which was nice.

Miss K has been gorgeous as always, growing and developing every day. The biggest thing for her this week is that she finally understands putting things into boxes and I can finally get her to help me clean up her toys at the end of the day. She loses interest after a short while which is to be expected given she's still only one, but I make sure she gets lots of praise any time she puts things away and hopefully soon she can help keep this place clean. I mentioned earlier in the week that she was going for her 12 month immunisations, and like every time we go there we were warned to keep an eye out for any symptoms for a day or so, this time more than ever because this immunisation contained live cultures of something, but she has pushed through the yucky feelings admirably with only a few complaints about feeling miserable, and she is always good about taking her paracetamol. She talks all the time and is so full of fun and adventure, it is a delight to watch her as she goes about her day.

As for me, I went to my local TAFE on Friday hoping to finally get enrolled into my bookkeeping course only to discover the woman I needed to speak to WASN'T @#%$# THERE!!!! But the receptionist was kind enough to take my enrolment form anyway and assured me she would make sure I was called on Monday so I can finally get everything taken care of. I got the fright of my life while driving up the freeway that day however, it was raining pretty heavy and the roads were very wet and my bloody car hydroplaned. It gave both me and the little sister who was riding with me quite a scare and I drove with my hands tightly gripping the steering wheel the rest of the way. I also sat at 10km under the speed limit the entire way. I have also finished reading another book on my list to read before I die which now brings my total up to 15. I have started reading Jane Eyre and so far the mood of the book is pretty blue so I'm not sure how far I can get before it becomes too miserable and I have to give up.

Well I've officially wasted enough time on the computer for one morning, I need to go shopping and clean up my lounge room so I feel like I've done something productive today. Now you are all caught up on my life wonderful readers I hope you all have a good day and I'll be back with my normal rants next week.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Learning to love your body

Hello again wonderful readers, I hope this post finds you all well and warm. It is freezing cold here right now, and has been raining almost constantly for two days. I'm rugged up in my pyjama pants and a men's XL jumper as I type this as it's too cold to wear my normal blogging bikini. (I'll let you sit with that image for just a second)

The truth is I've worn a bikini once in my entire life, and even then I wore it under a t-shirt and a pair of shorts and I never let it see the light of day. I bought the bikini on a cruise ship (I can't remember why I needed a bathing suit, given that I should have packed beach suitable wear and that usually means togs), but only because none of the stores sold anything bigger than a two piece and I refuse to let that much skin show in public. This modesty was bought on more by the fact that I was a very curvy size 18 - 20 at the time than any sense of decency and I hated my body greatly at this time. I had actually gone on a diet in preparation for the cruise (my first and only attempt at dieting) which consisted of eating something like minestrone soup and very little else for several months. I lasted 3 days before the sugar withdrawals sent me crazy and my mum insisted I eat something else. I have battled for a long time with my body image, my first memories of hating my body being at about age 16. The funny thing is I look back at photos of myself at this time and there was nothing wrong with me. I was quite skinny and very pretty and could wear figure hugging clothes easily, but for some reason when I looked in the mirror all I could see was a fat person. I could kick myself knowing how much time I wasted wishing I was skinnier when the truth was I was healthy and perfectly fine exactly how I was. 

By the time I was 17 things had changed for me. I had stopped caring about myself since I thought I was so ugly so I put all kinds of nasty into my body. I used to drink 2 litres of coke a day and eat anything I felt like. I also did zero exercise and when I wasn't at school I was either sleeping or on the internet. And I felt huge. I probably wasn't more than a size 16 at the time but I might as well have been a size 22. I started wearing huge baggy clothing to hide my shape and hating myself even more. It went on and on like this for the next couple of years, I did the one minestrone diet which was a spectacular failure, but any other time I wanted to lose weight I'd walk to try and lose the flab. And it would work, until I got bored with walking or distracted by something else or winter came and then I'd stop. I joined gyms which was always a terrible waste of hundreds of dollars because I never had the motivation, and I hate exercising in public. I hated going clothes shopping because the dressing room mirrors were never gentle with my flaws and made my thighs look like chicken drumsticks. There was also the problem that I could never find any clothing in my size that I felt pretty in or that wasn't covered in huge floral prints. (Why do clothing designers think fat women want to look like walking flower beds?) I was miserable and felt powerless and hideous. None of my boyfriends could ever convince me that I was pretty or sexy or worthy of happiness, no matter how much they tried. 

I can look back at this part of my life and talk about it now as if it was such a long time ago, but I can't tell you exactly when I stopped hating my body. I think it was such a gradual thing I didn't even realise at the time what was happening. It probably started with accepting that this is the body I was given, and I really should be happy that I have a whole, fully functioning body that serves its purpose as it is meant to. Then I learned how to dress like I actually like myself and the confidence started coming back. Then I fell pregnant with Miss K and I couldn't hate the stretch marks or the lumps and bumps any more because they all served a greater purpose than all of my complaining combined. And after Miss K was born mum had her heart attack and a whole set of diet and lifestyle changes were brought on which helped us all gain healthier slightly smaller bodies. I think that really brought home the fact that I should be happy with what I have been given because there are so many more important things to think about than how I look in a bikini.

So I'm still not the perfect size, in fact I'm still classed as obese even though I don't feel it these days. But I'm truly happy with my body, as without it, I wouldn't have been able to have Miss K, and she is totally worth the stretch marks and bulgy tummy I carry around under my t-shirt these days.

Friday, 25 May 2012

No wonder I can't see

So I went to the optometrist yesterday for the first time in about 10 years. Given how much trouble I have seeing on a daily basis this is not a good thing. However I feel no better about my eyes after my appointment than I did before hand.

Part of the reason I left it so long between appointments is that when I was younger there was only one optometrist in town that bulk billed, and the optometrist there had terrible breath. I'm not making this up, he had disgusting breath, and having to sit there with his face inches from mine while he looked deep into my eyes and breathed his death breath in my face was always torture. It was almost a relief when his office announced that they would no longer be bulk billing their clients as I could no longer afford to get my eyes checked there. It also meant I couldn't afford to get my eyes checked anywhere else either, but I felt it was a small price to pay to avoid being breathed on by someone who obviously ate feet for lunch.

I recently discovered this is actually another optometrist in town that bulk bills, so off I trotted to get miss K's eyes checked when we first discovered that she inherited my lazy eye. Now that it has gotten to the point that I can't see well enough to drive at night, I decided to finally take the plunge and get my eyes checked again. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my new optometrist smells very nice. He is also very good at making nervous patients feel relaxed. (I always get nervous at eye appointments because I hate getting the tests wrong because it means that my glasses never work the way they should.) It wasn't all fun and games however as I discovered that on top of my lazy eye, astigmatism and two eyes that see different distances I also have ridges on my top lens. It has some long scientific sounding name, but I forgot it five minutes after he said it to me so I can't tell you exactly what it's called. No one knows yet how it is caused but it looks to be genetic which means there is a chance Miss K will also have the same problem with her eyes. It also looks like she'll need glasses by the time she's 3 to try and correct her lazy eye too. Then I found out that because the vision in my right eye is so weak, my lenses will have to be custom made which is going to cost me $400 for the lenses alone. Add another $300 for the frames I picked and I will be a grandmother by the time I've paid these bloody glasses off.

So it looks like it will be a while yet before I can see properly but given I've spent the last ten years squinting at everything in order to see it what's another few months??

Well I'm off to cook Miss K some dim sims for tea, have a good night everyone and if you live in Victoria, stay inside because this weather is bloody awful.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ready spaghetti

I have finally received word from my local TAFE and they advise me that I am allowed to enrol into bookkeeping for this year, but I have to do it quickly and then catch up on 6 months worth of work in a short amount of time. Too easy right?? Let the crapping in my pants begin because as soon as I can get to the campus 30km away from here I'll be enrolled and ready to start studying. The real test will begin once I receive all of my study materials and it becomes my responsibility to complete them on top of raising Miss K and keeping on top of the housework. I have not been this nervous in a long time.

But before I even get to the course I have to do the half hour drive to TAFE and hand in the paperwork. I've told the woman I've been dealing with that I'll come up tomorrow, then I've looked at my calendar and remembered that I have 2 doctors appointments and a visit to a friend tomorrow all booked in so my day is going to be absolutely flat out. I guess it will just be a small glimpse of what my life is going to become once I'm a student.

Well I'm off to relax for an hour before I have to go pick up my brother in law. I've bought some e-books for the DS today and there are a heap of them that are on my list of books to read so I'm looking forward to this. Tomorrow Miss K is getting her 12 month immunisations and I have an optometrist appointment so this is going to be fun.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Exercise in frustration

Wow two posts in one day, I'm on a roll. But given that everyone else who is in the house with me right now is currently having their morning nap and the washing machine only stopped 20 minutes ago, I have a little while before my load of washing starts to smell, what better way to spend it than writing another post. Anything for you my wonderful readers.

I mentioned the other day that I am trying to enrol in a bookkeeping course in an attempt to update my skills and make myself more employable when the inevitable day comes that I have to go back to work. (The government says this will be once Miss K turns 6.) However it is turning out to be a lot harder than I thought. I know that May is possibly the weirdest time to decide to enrol into school given that the first half of the year is almost over, but I was prompted by the announcement that the government is about to pull it's support from the tertiary education system, and after June 30 this year there will be no subsidies for further education. It is trivial things like this that really help get a person motivated.

So I contacted my local TAFE and was told I could enrol to do my course of choice online which suits me perfectly as it means I can get an education and raise Miss K at the same time. I had the lovely woman on the telephone email me through the enrolment forms (It took me two tries to get them, as I suspect she put the phone down and then forgot about me, so I had to email her and remind her that I existed and I want an education.) Unfortunately the enrolment forms gave no indication as to how much money I was going to have to pump into my plans, nor did it tell me how to go about getting a student loan. This prompted a second phone call and a three day wait for a response from her (Why are TAFE teachers so hard to get on the phone?) The second time we spoke she was less optimistic about my prospects. This time I was told I was probably better off waiting until the start of next year and enrolling at the same time as everyone else as they were already 3 units in and I had a lot of catching up to do. (They appeared to have completed an entire unit in one week, as when we spoke the previous Monday they had completed 2 units, and she didn't think I'd have a problem catching up) Now I am no stranger to hard work, having worked in 2 law firms, and a slew of other government departments, and I reassured her that the units they had completed were all full of stuff I have spent the last 10 years doing for a wage, however she remained unconvinced and advised me she'd have to speak to somebody else in the department before making a final decision whether to accept my enrolment form. I am currently waiting for an email from her with the department's final decision about when I can enrol for my course.

Of course this isn't what really bugs me the most about trying to enrol. What gets me is the cost. Even with government subsidies, this online course is going to cost me over $1,300.00 for the course itself, and a further $600 for books and materials. (That fee I don't understand because I was under the impression that an online course meant the books and materials would be electronic, and I've looked at the cost of E-Books, they don't cost $600.) There is a massive push at the moment in Australia to get stay at home mums back in the workforce as soon as possible. (I'm not entirely convinced they wouldn't force everyone back to work as soon as the doctor sews you up if they could.) The problem with this is unless you have a degree before you go off and have your children (something I don't have) then you will wind up in a low paying job that wouldn't even cover the cost of daycare. Of course you could spend your down time as a stay at home mum brushing up on your skills and getting a degree if you can afford to go to school and put your children in daycare. (Of course you'd have to spend the rest of your time working the drive through at McDonalds just to be able to afford your week's supply of tinned spaghetti so you and your child don't starve.) The government wants its citizens to be skilled workers and have degrees and lots of wonderful letters after their names, but they don't make getting these degrees and letters easy. University courses cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, and TAFE fees aren't much better. It's a catch 22 that they have created and refuse to fix. And that people is what grinds my gears.

So for now I sit here in anticipation, waiting for the email that decides the next few years of my life. Whatever the decision is I will accept as I don't really have any other choice, but to be on the safe side I'm going to start stocking up on tinned spaghetti now in anticipation.

If I were a rich man...

Or rich woman, because the first option would require more than winning the lottery, there'd be surgery and hormone replacement and all kinds of other yucky stuff I can't think of for more than five seconds without feeling queasy. But I digress. Ladies and gentlemen, I am about to show you a picture that I have been drooling over for about 2 years now. It may not look like much to all of you, but for me, this is a dream product and one that has been on my if I won the lottery list for a long time now.

Ta daaa!!!!!

What you are looking at my wonderful readers is called the WorkBox. They can be found in the dreams of scrap-bookers around the world, or more precisely here. Look at all that storage space, and the built in table! It's perfect down to the last detail. Unfortunately it also retails for $1,695.00 US and that's money I just don't have. I have toyed around with the idea of building something similar by myself, but given that I had to call my brother in law once to build a flat pack desk for me (they forgot to add holes for the screws to go into and I don't own a drill), it seems to be a bit too advanced for my skills. But one day I will have my dream scrap-booking space, even if I have to beg my dad to build it for me. But he would do it because really, who could say no to this face??

That's right, I would even exploit my little girl if it would get me a ScrapBox. That is how much I love them.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

No, it's not another whinge

I cannot believe I have been so busy moaning at you my wonderful and long suffering readers lately I haven't had a chance to tell you all the wonderful things that are happening around here. Well I apologise and would like to make this post a happy one for a change.

So Miss K has been making great strides in a lot of areas lately which makes me feel optimistic that she hasn't been too affected by her illness last year. Her constant babbling is finally starting to turn into real words and I am proud to say that she can say grandma (pronounced bumma according to Miss K), What's this and wow. She also spends a lot more time trying to copy the sounds I make, or at very least copying the patterns of the words I'm saying, and we have a lot of fun talking to each other these days. Miss K also loves to help me change her nappy and get her dressed in the morning, and takes great pride in brushing her hair (and the shower of compliments she gets from me when she's finished). She has also started climbing onto our couches which I know I should be frustrated at, as it means more work for me keeping an eye on her, but I know this is such a big milestone so I can't help but be happy when I watch her scrambling up on the chairs in an attempt to get to anything she can get her hands on. She is also getting closer to walking every day, and now she will happily let me put her down on her feet and make her walk around the room instead of dropping onto her bum straight away and cracking a tantrum. She also spends a lot more time cruising around the coffee table doing laps which I know is another sign she's getting closer to trying to take her first steps on her own. Miss K has also learned a number of new songs with thanks to my big sister and can now do the hand movements to Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, The Wheels on the Bus and Open, Shut them. I hope to get a copy of Miss K doing at least one of these on video and if I can I will be posting it here so you guys can see it too.

The other thing that is going on at the moment is I'm doing a big clear out of old toys that Miss K has grown too old for, or we don't have the room for. Hopefully once I've gotten rid of some of her old clutter I can start redecorating her bedroom. I've decided that I'm going to do away with the jungle theme that is in her room now and change it to a Dr Seuss bedroom. I'm pretty excited about this and I've started making plans and looking for materials, now all I have to do is buy the paints, canvases and anything else I think will work and start redoing her room. I'll keep you posted as things happen.

But now I'm going to bed, I have a busy day tomorrow, toys to deliver to an op-shop, toys to sell to people and vacuuming to do, so I really need my beauty sleep. Stay awesome readers and I'll be checking in again soon.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

100 books you must read

So just to show that I haven't just been spending all my time wallowing in self pity lately, I'd like to talk to you about a little project I have started with mum this week.

I'm sure you've all heard of the BBC's list of 100 books, of which the average person has only read 6. I don't have the energy to post the entire list of books, but here is a link to someone else who has done all the hard work for me. (This is not where I got the list from originally, I found it on Facebook, which is probably where most people first heard of this list.)

Now I have read more than six of the books listed here (I have actually read 14 of the books) but this number is still incredibly unsatisfying for me given my absolute love of books. Unfortunately, a lot of this list seems to have come straight from a high school's English literature reading list, and given that I never took English Lit as I hate having to dissect books to find hidden meanings and metaphors in every sentence, I missed out on a lot of awesome books it turns out. So mum and I have written our own lists from this one of the books we haven't read but would like to, and we're going to start making our way down it at our own pace until we have read every book on our lists. Already this week I have read two from the list (Miss K gave me The Bell Jar for Mother's Day and I finished it that night, and this evening I finished reading Atonement) so I am well on my way to becoming better read, and more familiar with the classics. This is also an excellent excuse to start making regular excursions to our local library, something that I am looking forward to sharing with Miss K, as she is being taught the importance of reading, and has developed a love of books already.

So that's my exciting project of the moment, I'll update you with my progress as I go along, and hopefully any of you out there with a love of reading will feel compelled to read or even re-read some of these classics too.

I can't get no satisfaction

So the last few weeks I have been possessed by the most irritating urge to do something creative. This is not a problem in itself as long as you have the time, space and money to embark on a new project, or dust off an old,  long forgotten project to bring back to life, but when you are the proud mother of a one year old, this yearn can be quite frustrating, and any attempts to quell the yearning can result in either rushed work or unsatisfying products. I'm not entirely sure if this return of creativity is a response on my behalf to Miss K's growing independence. Lately I have noticed that she is quite happy playing by herself for long stretches of time, only looking up occasionally to make sure that either I or mum are within view, probably for security more than anything else.

That is not to say that I don't have to rescue her from herself on a regular basis, but I am beginning to see small glimpses of a not too distant future when I won't even be needed to feed and change her any more, and then what will I do with myself? It is so hard to keep your identity after you have a child. You slip so quickly into becoming somebody's mum, it is easy to forget that you had a whole life before this little body came into your universe and threw everything into chaos. I've already started looking towards the future with trying to enrol into a bookkeeping course (that is an ordeal on its own and something I don't even have the energy to complain about right now), but somehow even that doesn't seem enough on its own. I think the real problem with trying to find a part of myself that existed before Miss K was born is that before I was a mum, I was unsatisfied with my life. I worked menial, frustrating jobs in customer service, I had dozens of hobbies, but not one that I excelled in, and terrible taste in men. I seemed to be floating around aimlessly waiting for something to come along and anchor me into reality and give my life purpose. Now Miss K has come along and given me that purpose, but for how long? I know once you have children you remain a mother forever, but the mother of a twelve year old has a completely different job to that of a mother of a one year old.

I guess I'm most frustrated that apart from being Miss K's mum, my life still lacks any real structure or motivation. I try on a weekly basis to change this but due to sheer laziness (and fear of failure), I never get any further than making plans while lying in bed trying to sleep. I have plenty of excuses as to why I fail so regularly, no money, not enough hours in the day, plans get changed at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances, but the cold hard truth is that it is easier to blame the rest of the world than get my hands dirty and actually change my life. They say the first step to dealing with your problem is being able to admit you have a problem, but I have been admitting for so long that I'm lazy and scared, these words roll off my tongue as easily as the apologies I give to strangers in the street when I get in their way. I've gotten to the point where it isn't enough to just admit that I am lazy, but I am unsure where to go from there. The answer here is probably the most obvious thing, just get on with it and start changing things. If my big sister was here right now, she'd tell me to stop being a drama queen and do just that, and maybe that's what I need, someone to tell me to grow up and stop being so childish. But given that it's 12:30 in the morning and all the sane people in my family are safely tucked up in bed leaving me alone with my thoughts and a keyboard, I'm free to wallow in my own special brand of self pity for now.

So unfortunately this post does not end with any resolutions to become a better person or concrete plans on how to change my life, and maybe that will leave you, my wonderful readers, with a sense of dissatisfaction that I am all too familiar with. But please feel free to inject your own dose of reality in the comments if you feel compelled to do so, or maybe you can come up with the happy ending this post so desperately needs. I for one would be greatly appreciative of any feedback.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

One day I'm gonna be famous

So when I started this blog, I had grand visions of becoming an iconic blogger, possibly one who would be featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show, because she seems to have her finger on the pulse of everything that is cool on the internet. I dreamed of being interviewed for various magazines and newspapers (under the heading sexy mama becomes internet sensation overnight), and being asked to guest blog for other famous bloggers. However, it has now been 3 months since I started this blog, and the cracks are starting to show in my fantasy.

There are several flies in the ointment of my dreams here, the first and biggest one being that it is very hard to get famous without masses of self promotion, which is something I loathe to do. I was always brought up to never big note myself, as modesty was a more attractive feature than arrogance. To date, I haven't even told all of my friends that I have a blog, and although I have added the link to this site on my Facebook page, I did it in my information section, and it tends to disappear after all of my likes and interests, to a part of the page I don't think anyone really ever looks at unless they've forgotten your email address and need to email you a copy of the funniest LOL cat EVER!!!!

The other problem, and this one is the hardest one to overcome is that I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF THIS BLOG IS ANY GOOD. One of the problems that comes with the lack of self promotion is that you don't have many people available to give you constructive criticism or tell you where you may have failed with a certain post, joke or pop culture reference. Of course I ask my family to read my posts on regular occasions, and while they are my biggest fans (the compliment I get the most is you're an idiot), I have never been able to fully take their compliments as I can't tell if they're just being nice because I know where they live. My big sister has been the person who prefers to discuss my writing style and content of my blogs with me, and to date she is the best editor I could have asked for. (And no I'm not just saying that so that she'll keep saying nice things to me.) Whenever my posts are starting to become too mopey, or she thinks I'm becoming too distanced from reality, she is the first one to come to me and offer advice.

One thing I really struggle with when writing this blog is I still haven't decided what kind of blog it is. I'm not enough of an expert on anything for this to be an instructional blog, and I've tried to make it a journal style blog, but even I get bored with reading about my own life after a while. If I had the kind of life where Miss K and I did exciting things like explore jungles or travel to the far corners of the earth, then a journal style blog could be very interesting, but given that the highlight of our day yesterday was that my cousin bought her 7 month old daughter over for a visit, and Miss K was terrified of her, then it doesn't make for very compelling reading. I actually spend a lot of time reading other people's blogs and researching interesting topics on the internet just to see if I can find anything that jumps out at me and says DO THIS! but the thing I notice most is that the really popular blogs are several years old, or in some cases established by already famous people who aren't afraid to tell people how wonderful they are, and have legions of fans ready to follow them into the wilderness that is a blank website waiting to be filled with humour or instructions.

So for now it looks like this blog will remain an obscure drop of water in the giant ocean that is the internet. If any of you my wonderful readers feel like taking on some of the promotion for me, then feel free to invite all of your friends to come check me out. Or if there is anything in particular you'd like me to write about, please drop a line in the comments, after all this blog is for my audience so if there are any holes in topics you feel I'd be able to fill, please let me know and I'll do my best to oblige.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Beating the blues

Hello again wonderful readers, here I am again to regale you with tales of my awesomely awesome life full of exciting happenings and much merriment I've got nothing. Today was actually a pretty blah day for me, full of malaise (I love that word) and generalised self pity. There was nothing I could actually put my finger on that was causing my bad mood, it just appeared out of the blue somewhere between putting my slippers on and finishing my first coffee of the day. And it hung around like an unwanted guest for the better part of the day. My mum was incredibly gentle on me the entire day, she never said a word when I didn't get out of my pyjamas until after dinner, and she even thanked me for cleaning the lounge room, even though it was all Miss K's toys that were causing the mess. Given I haven't had a mood this filthy for a long time, I think she was either prepared to make allowances for me, or she was just too worried about me to care about anything else.

Now everyone has bad days, and I am guilty of more than my fair share of them, but for me, bad days like this are never a good sign. I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned it in my previous posts, but I have suffered from depression since I was in my late teens. At the moment I am not receiving any real treatment for it, but that is because I have been coping successfully without treatment for about 12 months now. But as the threat of post natal depression is very real for me, I monitor my moods very carefully, as do several other members of my family. But for now, I seem to be ok as long as I have access to music, and as strange as it sounds, do some housework every now and again.

The housework is for several reasons. The first being that the messier my environment is, the harder I find it to cope with my life in general. I have never really been able to cope with clutter and my mum spent my childhood writing out lists for me to help me get through even the simplest of tasks like cleaning my room and doing the dishes. To this day, if I have to pack an overnight bag, I will write a list of everything I will need first to make sure I don't forget anything. (This isn't a unique thing I know, but anyone who has to write lists to get jobs done will understand what I have to deal with.) The other way housework works is actually pretty childish, and kind of embarrassing for me to admit, but we're all friends here so I don't mind sharing my dirty secrets with you my wonderful audience. You see doing housework when I feel like crap makes me feel like a martyr. I get this mindset that I must be such a wonderful and caring person seeing I am doing my chores even though I feel terrible, and I wear this hair shirt with such a grim sense of self satisfaction that by the time I've finished my work, I'm so proud of myself for overcoming such adversity I cheer up immensely. I know this is not my most attractive quality, but I've never said I was anything more than human.

But my best antidote to a good dose of the blues has got to be Miss K. It is a well known fact that babies are incredibly sensitive to the moods of the people around them, and Miss K is no exception. Her reaction to my bad moods can go one of two ways. If she herself is having a bad day, it seems to make her own moods much worse, and I am forced to forget about myself in order to make her OK. But if, like today she is having a good day, she spends a lot of time trying to make me laugh, or gives me extra cuddles and kisses to comfort me. And it works every single time. I can never stay sad for long when Miss K is taking care of me, and I love that I have such an empathetic and caring daughter. I know she is doing it for herself as much as she is doing it for me, because she hates to see me unhappy as it disturbs her entire world, but I don't see that as a bad thing at all. One day, she will probably end up the clown of the family just like her mother, and I know from personal experience that everybody loves a clown. 

Well as it has been a new day for a whole 24 minutes now, I am going to welcome this new day in the best way I know how, by going to bed. Enjoy your day wonderful readers, if you too are having a bad day, go listen to some awesome music or play tea parties with a child and watch how quickly your stress disappears.  

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

So today is the day where we get to say thanks to our mums for being so wonderful. I remember celebrating Mother's Day with my family, all six of us kids piled onto mum's bed watching her unwrap whatever we had bought at the last minute at the mother's day stall the Thursday before, or made in school the Friday before with such pride. I remember being so excited about this day, and I couldn't wait to celebrate it with my own kids, but being on the other side of this day is so not what you think it will be when you're a kid. The attention of course is lovely, and for a few minutes it does feel like a second birthday, but since I didn't become a mother for the gratitude, (especially since there is so little received when you're dealing with a baby) then today really is just like every other day.

As that is my attitude of the day, I'd like to spend this blog talking about someone other than myself for a change. As I'm sure you're all aware, I also have a mother, and for me, this day is still about her as without her I wouldn't be who I am today. (The totally insane, poorly organized filthy humoured person I have grown to love). I am still amazed that she managed to single handedly raise a family of six children without any of them ending up as criminals, drug addicts or worse, liberal supporters. And she's still helping us today. I've never hidden the fact that if it wasn't for my mum, Miss K and I would be homeless as with the cost of housing as it is, if I was to move out of here, we wouldn't be able to eat. She is also for all intents and purposes Miss K's second parent (but she gets away with spoiling her like a grandparent), and she has supported and helped me through all the terrible decisions I have made thus far, when lesser people would have long given up on me as a lost cause. This is on top of all the rehearsals she drove me to for my school plays, the doctors appointments she took me to in Melbourne when I had epilepsy, and the conferences she had with my teachers all through primary school and high school. (I had a giant invisible target on my back only ever seen by the meanest of bullies through most of my school life.)

I've asked my mum in the past what her secret was, and how she managed to cope with having six kids at home all at once, but she always says the same thing. You just get up and do it. She fails to see how her work is anything incredible, but all I can hope is that I am half the mother that she is to all of us, and our friends, and our partners and anyone else who comes into our lives.

Sadly my mother hates getting her photograph taken, and she would hate any photos of her to show up on this blog, so I've had to settle with an artist's rendition of my mother for now.

Did I forget to mention I am terrible at drawing?? But you get the idea. If my mum was a stick person then this is probably what she'd look like. Just think of it as my homage to mum.

So to my mum and all the other mums out there, happy Mother's Day and thank you all for being so wonderful.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Getting ready for Mother's Day

So tomorrow is a special day (in Australia it is anyway), it's the day where we give thanks to our mothers for everything they have done and will do for us in the future. This will be my second Mother's Day, but given that Miss K is still too young to understand what all the hooplah is all about, I still get to throw all of my energy into my mum.

As I have previously mentioned, I love to scrapbook, and as a side hobby I make cards for special occasions. I used to try to sell these at markets, but never got very far with it, but I still love to make cards for my nearest and dearest. My Mother's Day card for my mum took me 3 days this year. That may sound like a long time to spend on a card, but keep in mind I still have to organise all my craft time into tiny windows of time when Miss K is asleep. I'm so happy with the end result of my handiwork I've decided to share it with all of you, my wonderful readers so that you too can enjoy it.

I know it doesn't look like much when it's closed and you're probably still thinking I'm really slow if that took me three days to complete, but just you wait till I open it up for you guys and then maybe you'll see what it is that makes this card so labour intensive.

Yes it's an accordion card!! and quite a complex looking one at that. Now I can't take any of the credit for this card's design as I found it here with lots of easy to read and understand instructions. The only thing I can truly take credit for is the papers I used and the rose picture in the centre panel. (And even that was stamped first and then coloured in with pens.)

So I'm ready for Mother's Day tomorrow (having done the last minute rush for a present yesterday) now all I have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the day.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mum's out there, have a wonderful day and make sure your children (and their fathers) spoil you rotten. You all deserve it.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Pet peeves and mild annoyances

I originally started writing this post at about 3:00 in the afternoon, thinking it would just be a quick list and I had plenty of time to write it out before having to go out for coffee. It turns out there is a lot more out there that annoys me than I thought which is why it has taken me four and a half hours to actually get this list finished. Below you will find a small list of my pet peeves. These are the things that make me grind my teeth on a regular basis, but aren't bad enough to send me on a rant to the person who actually pissed me off, as that takes more energy and bravery than I have. So please sit back and enjoy my wonderful pet peeves.

  1. People who blow their noses in cafes and then put the dirty napkin on their plate (makes me gag every time)
  2. Door to door salespeople (If I wanted your product, I would have purchased it already and saved you the trip)
  3. Skinny people who say they are fat (Not sure if you are blind or just fishing for compliments, but please do it elsewhere)
  4. Television commercials that are overly condescending
  5. Medicine makers for not inventing a baby safe cough syrup
  6. Baby knee pads
  7. My little sister sneaking in to my bedroom at 7am to borrow my hair straightener (It doesn't wake me up, I usually only figure out what has happened when I wake up and find my drawers all open)
  8. Baby "experts"
  9. Doctors who ignore your concerns because you are a first time mum
  10. Rude cashiers
  11. Taxi drivers who have no idea where you're going (this is especially frustrating if you live in a tiny town like mine as it's not that hard to master the streets here)
  12. People who say they are going to email you and don't (I'm just as guilty of this one, but I usually only do it to my friends and not in business transactions)
  13. People who eat rice crackers in public (if you're not eating these, they seriously smell bad)
  14. People who are constantly late (my time management skills leave a lot to be desired but if I don't think I can get somewhere fast, I usually organise the starting time so I have lots of wiggle room)
  15. Debt collectors (they get my verbal wrath any time they try to drain more money out of me)
  16. Chauvinists (I don't even have the energy to tell them to stick their male appendages where the sun doesn't shine, it's not worth my time and they won't listen to me anyway)
  17. The women's clothing department at K Mart (if it isn't completely hideous then it won't come in my size)
  18. Terrible drivers 
  19. Anti smokers who feel the need to tell you that the cigarette you are smoking is going to kill you (I'm sceptical about that because the last 3000 I smoked did nothing at all except stop me from punching opinionated dicks who feel I give a crap about their opinions)
  20. Sports shows that take TV slots that used to be filled with shows I love (Damn you Thursday night football, I want to know what happens on CSI NY)
  21. People who think it is perfectly acceptable to spend $3000 on a hand bag (Especially since most of the time I can barely spare $20 for a new pair of sneakers)
Well that's enough for now, even though it doesn't even scratch the surface of every thing that makes me sigh in frustration before going back to my coffee in silence. Maybe one day when I have another couple of hours to spare I might finish the list but right now I have a mushroom pizza waiting for me. Feel free to comment, let me know what your pet peeves are.

Happy to be her mum

Well Miss K is having an unusually long nap and I've got music blasting through my tiny earphones so what better time to write another post than now??

I've got another good excuse for leaving it so long between posts as the cold I mentioned that Miss K might have caught last week showed up with full fanfare this week, and between snotty noses and unexplainable crying sessions I've not had time to write much. But I must say that even though Miss K is in the throes of one of the worst colds I have ever suffered from, she is as always a delight to be around (excess fluids notwithstanding.) I've heard it said that the first child is always the easiest one, and I'm beginning to believe it too. It's almost like babies were designed like video games, the first one being for novices, who are still mastering which keys to press to carry out functions, and by the third and fourth child, you're dealing with stronger villains with more powerful weapons than you have ever encountered in all the earlier levels. Given that I don't plan to have any more children, having Miss K is almost like cracking a child's computer game and sitting back and smiling like you are the master of video games.

I've had lots of people tell me what a good girl my daughter is, and I'm always happy to remind them that they're not the ones who have to pull her off the television every time she tries to give the actors high fives and kisses. But all the normal naughty child stuff aside, I do have a very easy time as a mother. I hate to sound like I'm bragging, and I'm sure I'd piss off more than one mother with everything I'm saying here, but it's true. I've never had any real problems with bedtime, as once Miss K is snuggled up with her Elmo toy and listening to her mobile she's happy to chat away to herself and her toys until she is tired enough to fall asleep, something that usually happens between 6:30 and 7:30 every night. Eating is also something that came fairly easily to us despite a few choking incidents early on that seemed to scare the crap out of everyone within a 20 metre radius, and now that Miss K is weaned off her bottles, I think I can safely say we've passed through the real baby section and are now preparing for Miss K's time as a toddler.

I won't pretend that the past 14 months have been a pleasure cruise though, especially since I have a suspicion part of my reluctance to have another child is the fear that he or she might almost die just as easily as Miss K did at 2 weeks. I also dread having to deal with colic, teething, nappy rash and baby colds again. (Why do they refuse to make a cough syrup that is suitable for babies?) But given that Miss K was unexpected and caused a lot of sleepless nights spent worrying exactly how I was going to cope with being a single mum, I can say with the utmost of confidence that I'm happy my life took this surprise turn. (Despite the fact that my little sister calls Miss K a window licker) I'm even starting to look towards the future and will hopefully be going back to school before the middle of this year.

Well I'm done bragging for now, I should probably be doing something more productive right now than acting smug anyway. Like an impromptu dance around my lounge room to music by Prince. Stay awesome readers and as always, please feel free to post a comment, even if it's to say you are insanely jealous of my awesomely easy baby.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The witching hour strikes again

Ugh why am I on here writing to you people instead of tucked up in bed where I am supposed to be??? You can't say that I don't give you guys my absolute everything because I am even forsaking sleep for you my lovely readers and let me tell you I usually hate to let anything get in the way of my sleep. Well almost anything. I can and will stay up for crappy B-grade movies that come on television once every decade, an awesome website I stumble upon on the internet, an irritating sudoku puzzle that I just can't crack or a great book. Ok so we've established that I am easily distracted at bedtime.

I wouldn't be so tired tonight if I hadn't had such a monster afternoon with Miss K. It's the kind of afternoon we used to have every single day from about week 2 to week 12, and let me tell you I haven't missed these afternoons. For anyone who has had a baby, you might be familiar with the witching hour. (I'm not sure why they call it the witching hour because it's usually several hours, between around 3pm and 7pm, which coincidentally is also the time that my mum is at work.) For the first 3 months, I spent this time pacing the floor boards, singing songs, rocking, doing crazy dances and anything else I could think of to try and distract Miss K from her unrelenting screaming, only to have her calmed down and finally in bed about 5 minutes before my mum got home. She's never said as much but I wouldn't be surprised if mum thought I was exaggerating when I used to tell her that we spent the entire afternoon crying together.

But until this afternoon I thought all of this was long behind me and we had moved forward onto new phases like smelling absolutely everything she can get her hands on. (I'm pretty sure this is a genetic thing because I have an irresistible compulsion to smell things too, and I'm 27). We had the mother of all dummy spits this afternoon which started as soon as Miss K got up from her unusually long 2 hour nap, and finished when I finally ran out of ideas and turned on Play School. Although in Miss K's defence I will say I don't think this was an every day run of the mill temper tantrum as I have had a cold for the past week, and I think she's caught it off me, and combined with her teething it has made her pretty miserable. Knowing that this upset was because of illness didn't actually make it any easier to deal with, and if anything it make it quite a bit harder especially as I couldn't dose her up with paracetamol as we'd already given her some 3 hours earlier. Not even a bath cheered her up which is rare because my baby loves being naked, and bath time is a real treat for her. (Not because it only comes once a year but because she gets to combine being nude with water. Who wouldn't love that???)

I think the being alone part is what is the worst thing about having to deal with difficult afternoons like this. When mum is home she usually spends the time giving me suggestions of what might help, and taking Miss K of my hands when I need them free to refill drinks or measure out medicine. She also makes sure that I don't completely freak out and panic which even though I've been doing this whole mum thing for over 12 months now, I'm still likely to do when shit gets hard. I think that's the hardest part of being a mum. If this was any other job, I'd take every new change completely in my stride and run with it. But with being a parent, the changes are constant, and no matter how many experts you consult, or experienced mums you have at hand with advice on how they coped with what you're going through, there is no way you can every be really prepared for every new hurdle you face. Being a mum is the biggest leap of faith you will ever have to take because you have to completely trust your own instincts and abilities in order to be able to take care of a defenceless and totally reliant human being.

But it's not all doom and gloom around here. Despite looking like an extra from Night of the Living Dead at the moment, we've actually had a few big moments lately. I can say with great pride that Miss K is finally drinking from a cup. After all of the months of stressing and frustration, all it took was for me to step back and leave Miss K to her own devices and she figured it out for herself. Of course not without stabbing herself in the back of her throat a few times first, but she's still so much smarter than I give her credit for. She's also learned how to say Grandma, except from her mouth it sounds like bum-ma, but we know what she means.

Well as it's almost a new day I really need to go and get my beauty hibernation so I can be refreshed and ready to stumble blindly through tomorrow. Stay awesome readers, and of course feel free to drop me a line and say hello, I love chatting to random strangers, especially ones who know more about me than I do about them.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Treadmills and giraffe hats

Hi guys, I know it's been a couple of days but since I can't afford a secretary to write these blogs for me (or to do my daily walk on my new treadmill) then you guys will have to be patient in waiting for each exciting instalment in this blog.

Life around here is hectic as always, today was my dad's birthday so we had a visit from him this afternoon for coffee, and so that Miss K could give him his present. Apparently my father has been complaining to my big sister that he has no photos of Miss K so we rectified this today by giving him a beautiful photo that was taken at her birthday party, of him and Miss K reading a book. (No one can accuse my dad of not being the life of the party.) I then had to go up the street to have a thickshake with my little sister and to buy some wool.

Why do you need wool I don't hear you ask as you're reading this well after I've gone to bed for the evening, and also I'm not sitting next to you while you read this as that would be creepy. Well for months now I have been searching for an incredibly elusive free pattern for a giraffe hat for babies. This is the latest must have accessory for baby photography and parents who love to humiliate their children by bringing out embarrassing photos of them in ridiculous hats and very little else taken at a time when they were unable to fend for themselves. The problem is that a lot of people are very protective of the work that goes into creating a pattern, and as such charge a fee for the privilege of using said patterns. Given that I am a single mother, and also a self confessed tight arse, I refuse to pay for this privilege and must wait for an incredibly generous person who is prepared to give away their pattern. As luck would happen, one such person has just appeared out of the blue and I have swooped on this incredibly rare opportunity and started making a giraffe hat. The happy dance I did when I found the pattern was worthy of a million hits on you tube, unfortunately as I cannot afford to hire a camera crew to follow me around on a daily basis to film me on the off chance that I do something hilarious, you can only take my word for it. For anyone who can read a crochet pattern and has also been looking for a giraffe hat pattern, please feel free to visit this wonderful angel here and check out her blog to find the pattern. Just a note you cannot republish this pattern, nor can you claim it as your own or sell it. She has already been a victim of piracy once thanks to her generosity, and I would hate to think that any of my wonderful readers could be capable of such sneakiness.

The other thing that has been keeping me busy is my ongoing quest to get healthy. My aches and pains from my attempts at tennis last week are all but gone despite the fact that mum refused to rub Deep Heat into my pulled groin muscle (I can't understand why). I mentioned in my last post that I was on the lookout for a cheap treadmill, and once again the gods were smiling upon me as I managed to snag one on eBay on the weekend. It only took me an hour and a half to travel to and from the seller to pick it up, plus I had to try and fit almost 6 feet of exercise machine in my 6 and a half foot long car which was interesting to say the least, but I am now the proud owner of a piece of machinery that will hopefully help shed the last of the mummy tummy I currently have stored underneath my t-shirt. My whole plan was almost derailed on Monday when I stepped on my trusty scales and found despite my full week of living healthy, I had actually gained weight. I had planned to use denial or blame water retention for this in order to cope, until I reminded myself the ultimate goal here is not actually to lose weight, but to extend life. The stepping on the scales is really just a unit of measurement for me and not the finish line as weight is easy to gain, but extra years are not.

One last thing that has been occupying my time and attention is Pinterest. A friend of mine called me on Monday and told me I absolutely HAD to sign up to this website as it was better than Google, plus most of the rest of the world is already on it and I would be a caveman if I didn't sign up NOW. The only problem with this, for any of my fellow cavemen who have never visited the website, is that you have to ask to be invited to sign up. A bit like in high school when you had to ask the cool kids to be invited to their parties, only this time instead of having to go through a slew of humiliating tasks only to have the cool kids laugh in your face and turn you away, all you have to do is wait for an email. As easy as this sounds, it is an incredibly long and frustrating wait. A bit like in school when you used to send notes to the cute boy in class asking if he liked you with the three options to pick from, yes, no and for the love of god if you don't stop sending me these letters I'm going to get a restraining order. (I was a very progressive stalker, and I always liked to give my victims a way out. It tends to relax them I find.) So I sent my request on Monday, and to date there has been no response, no matter how many times a day I check my inbox.

So for now I remain the nerdy kid in the corner desperately hoping for the day that one of the cool kids invite me to sit at their table at lunch time so I can bask in their warming awesomeness. And as soon as they invite me, I'm going to start pinning things onto them. With thumb tacks.

Until then, stay wonderful my dear readers, and also don't be afraid to drop me a line in my comments box. I'd love to know who is reading my posts, I know there has to be a couple of you out there as my counter is steadily rising up, and it's not just because I keep hitting the refresh button.

Peace out!!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...